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Yellow flags billow from lamp-posts along Gothenburg’s main streets and canals, declaring: “What A Wonderful World.” They are there to advertise Gothenburg’s 2009 biennial, a 10-week-long celebration of contemporary art, but the banners feel like they’d be appropriate permanent fixtures: Gothenburg has that knack, shared by many Scandinavian cities, of making this planet seem like a singularly comfortable and agreeable place.

It might be small, but it is one of the 10 most popular European cities for ­entrepreneurs, according to a 2009 ECER-Banque…



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